charge it, buy it, have it, wear it, use it, store it, charge it, buy it……

so when i made this decision to have a yard sale…a month ago, it was a sane decision.  I knew i had a storage garage full of things and I couldn’t keep it all in storage indefinitely.  Much of it isn’t mine, storing it for my daughter, but when she said, “yes, let’s sell it!”, i was off and running.  I trundled back and forth to the house with box after box of stuff, sorting, tossing, bundling, labeling and pricing.

And then I started on my own things.  I thought i really didn’t have much to sell, but as I looked at my house, I realized there was an excess of STUFF around here.  My bookcase was packed with books that I didn’t read anymore, i had movies that i didn’t watch, appliances I didn’t use, clothes i didn’t wear, furniture that was taking up space, for example- a huge TV that was sitting on the floor in the library- just sitting…not plugged in…oh, yeah, i needed that there.

when i put the first book in the “yard sale box”, i winced… I love books.  Several years ago, when our budget was being reviewed by a credit counseling woman, she was clueless as to why we didn’t have more available cash, until she found my Amazon and Borders purchases…just kept shaking her head and saying “well, this money has to be going somewhere…” Parting with books is a bit painful for me.  But by the time the first boxful was gone from the shelves, I was flinging with abandon! It felt soooooo good!!!  Some of these books were from a different time, when I believed different things…i wanted them gone!  Later, as I was dusting my empty shelves in the library, I marveled at how much cleaner I felt- I felt less dusty and cluttered internally!

as a counselor, i help countless people make some internal changes to see external change, but here was an external change that brought about an internal change…decluttering! What a fabulous idea…in this age where we always think we need more, more, more…charge it, have it, buy it, wear it, store it, charge it, have it, buy it, use it, store it… WE DON’T NEED MORE!

Designate one small area of your house, your space to declutter…doesn’t have to be massive, you don’t have to live in a yurt, and eat only rice and beans…just pick one place to simplify, to let breathe…

i think you will be surprised at the difference it will make in your spirit.

back away…just back away from the weapon, ma’am…

On Friday, I went to work for the morning.  I am not really “off” in the summer- I have to put in a certain number of days during the summer.  The days can usually be when I want, unless there is a specific event that I need to be present for.  So anyway, I went in to work for the morning. I was working on scheduling students for fall classes.

Understand that I am an artist; I do not think in straight lines, or in a linear fashion at all.  My thoughts are sort of like a screen saver, a flash over here that randomly disappears, until another appears over there, and then another that overlaps, and then they both fade…well, you get the idea.  Thinking in straight lines makes my head hurt.  But I muster it up for a few tasks in my life, and master scheduling is one of them.  I was scheduling away doing fine, until I realized that there were 52 students scheduled into one section of Spanish 2, and that because of how the puzzle was together, I didn’t know what to do.  I tried several solutions, none of which worked.  I hit a wall.  I decided it was time for lunch.

When I walked into my house, from the dogfood I was stepping on, it appeared that Journi had decided to empty the dogfood dish all over the library.  Everyone was home, and no one seemed particularly concerned.  I looked around …my house was a disaster…dirty dishes on the counter, toys all over the livingroom, breakfast cereal boxes still on the table, and of course, add to this that there was dogfood on the floor…that there were dogfood crumbs stuck between my sweaty toes as I picked my way thru the kitchen. (oh yeah,  i forgot to mention it was in the 90s temperature wise too)

Is it fair to say that my day was spiraling?  I wanted to cry, to scream, to fight…

So I had a little time-out in my bedroom…took a breath, picked up the dogfood…can I mention that no one had even moved in the livingroom?

And I made up my mind to spend the afternoon doing what I wanted to do.  I Kool-Aid dyed some wool and some llama…gorgeous blue, purple and crimson.  I went to my studio and built some clay slab pieces that I have had in my mind for some time…they turned out beautiful.

The schedule nightmare is still there, and will be there when I walk in again next week…but I channeled my frustration and anger into creative energy, was able to overlook the mess in my house until I was ready to deal with it, and the bonus is I was able to get thru the day without killing or maiming anyone…so a win-win, right?

selling on a street corner

selling stuff… i have said it a million times,

“I can make beautiful stuff, but i have no idea how to sell it…”

And I have thought to myself, ‘if my stuff is so great, then it should “sell itself”…it doesn’t.

and then we can visit the age-old argument about great art, and things that ‘sell’ are not necessarily great art…they are commercially created to please the public.

so i approached Etsy with some trepidation…some “geez, i should have thought of creating a site like this!”…some awe…some “how in the hell will anyone find my stuff in these millions of items??”

But after getting kicked out of the Farmers Market, ya gotta do something…find some type of outlet for your work…

I had an account years ago…etsy remembered me…she welcomed me in with a hug…saying “come in out of the hot sun and look around! We have everything here, everything you need for your creative soul…there are shops, and supplies, circles and treasuries and enough pretty pictures to keep you entertained for weeks…you can meet people here, and have coffee in handmade mugs…you can find your friends, have conversations, heart your favorites…etsy is all you need…just come in and set up shop”

and so i did.

“i knew you would want this…”

I spun for 2 hours yesterday…no music on, no TV, no distraction…just the whirring of the wheel…it was a precious time- felt like it was one of those fluffy dandelions that is captured in the glass paperweight… safe, soundless and insulated.

last fall when i returned to school for the year, my dear friend Karen came to me with a garbage bag in her arms.  She presented it to me and said, “I knew you would want this.”  Turns out she had sheared her llama, Bella, and apparently at some point in time, I had told her that if she ever did clip Bella that I would love the fleece.  I had no recollection of this, but that’s not unusual…i say things like that.  So here i was… with several pounds of unwashed unpicked llama fleece.  I ventured a look in the bag when I got home.  Yep.  That’s what it was.  I stashed it in the waterheater room.  Every so often I would glance at that trash bag and wonder about what i was going to do with it…and then would be distracted by something more urgent.  I had absolutely no idea what i was going to do with this fleece- I didn’t spin, i didn’t knit, i didn’t crochet…in fact, i didn’t know really anything about fleece, except for one failed attempt to make a drop spindle from a Mother Earth News article years ago…and so it sat…and i ignored it.

…until someone mentioned a spinning class in Hot Springs in March…and the rest is history 🙂

life has changed in the past year…my empty nest is full for a time…

so thankful for this quiet tactile colorful art, that allows me to be creative during this time in my life…and so thankful for a friend who “knew you would want this”, even if i didn’t.

kicked out of the Farmer’s Market…

never been much of a hell raiser…tried to stay out of the way of trouble most of my life.  Apparently my track record has been tarnished.

remember my earlier post about the Farmer’s Market, how much i loved the atmosphere, the people, the low pressure to sell…just sitting in the sun, and enjoying the residents of Custer?

well, while i was visiting my sister, the Custer Farmer’s Market was ‘taken over’ by the city and moved to Way Park by the courthouse.  And new ordinances were drafted making it only open to ‘agricultural product’…and pottery is not agricultural..

So after setting up my table, putting out my product in our new location, unloading my car and unfolding my chair, I was asked to leave…and so I re-packed my pottery in boxes and baskets, folded up my table drapes, and with help of my friend Sarah and her daughter Megs, carted everything back to my car…feeling like the kid that didn’t get picked for a team on “I Send” cuz i can’t run fast enough… sad to leave my new friends, and the open air market atmosphere…no longer belonging…

sad today…

i am trying to find the lesson in this, trying to pull some inspiring message from the bottom of all of this…but i am just sad.


shout it out loud!

“Wow, you must have been hungry!” my husband noted, as he looked at my hamburger almost gone.  This was his way of praising me for being a ‘good eater’.  He has always admired the way I eat…Haha, I have been a good eater since birth!

We had just returned from an afternoon of geo-caching – it went pretty well, found one…the GPS signal couldn’t get it together for the other one, so we gave up. After a dirty buggy hike thru underbrush, and coming up on a road, we find out that the GPS had given up the goal and instead told me that there were no caches nearby.

I feel like that sometimes, that I have this goal in mind…I have written it down, i have made a plan, i have steps in mind to get to the end…and then I wake up one morning and forget about it totally…its gone- like my GPS that lost the signal.

How does one keep the ‘signal’ and stay motivated towards a goal, even when it appears that there is no end in sight?

well, I am a person, not a piece of technical equipment, and I need people…people to remind me of my goal- one of my problems is that often I won’t tell anyone of my plan, in case I fail.

Once i say a goal outloud to someone i trust, it seems more real…more solid than the words on the paper, and the steps in my mind.  I can’t back out as easy.

I could go on and on with the steps to strategic planning but I think I have hit the crux.

Make your goal, and shout it out loud, tell you friend, your spouse, your mother…tell someone who will encourage you and help you be accountable.

shout it out loud!

and here is a little KISS to make you smile 🙂

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